Adelaide, Australia --- MININGREVIEW.COM --- 31 July 2008 - Australian-based diamond exploration and development company Lonrho Mining Limited has received government approval to commence exploration of the kimberlite targets at the Lulo diamond concession in Angola, paving the way for kimberlite operations to start at the world-class diamond area.
Revealing this here in an Australian Securities Exchange and media release, the company confirmed that it had now received all the necessary approvals to commence exploration and development of both the alluvial and kimberlite deposits at Lulo.
Lonrho has signed joint venture agreements with Endiama – the national diamond company of Angola and exclusive concessionary for Angolan diamond mining rights – to develop the highly prospective kimberlite and alluvial concessions.
The Lulo project is located on the eastern margin of the Cuango River catchment, approximately 650km east of Luanda within the Lunda Norte Province of north-eastern Angola. Many experts believe this area will become a prolific region for the production of diamonds. The Catoca Mine – one of the largest kimberlite diamond mines in the world – produces 60% of Angola’s diamond output, and is located only 90km east of the Lulo diamond concession. It produced in the region of 7 million carats in 2007.
“Lonrho’s latest Lulo development follows the identification by an independent geo-physical consultant of a cluster of 217 magnetic anomalies, of which an estimated 160 are likely to be kimberlite pipes,” said the media release. “A drilling programme is to start this year on the six largest kimberlite anomalies.”
The release added that a bulk sampling programme was to commence on alluvials, with initial diamond recoveries expected this year
The Cuango River alluvial diamond fields are the largest in Angola, and the operators of these concessions are among the leading diamond miners in the world, including De Beers, Trans Hex and Alrosa. The largest alluvial diamond mine in Angola is Chitotolo in the Lunda Norte province, which produces approximately 150 000 carats per annum.
Commenting on latest developments, Lonrho consultant geologist Manfred Marx said: “To date, the results from the Lulo survey are the most encouraging that I have witnessed since the discovery of the Orapa Mine in Botswana in 1967.”